The British government is not amused the latenight host’s crack
Jay Leno's wisecrack about Mitt Romney and the Golden Temple continues to dog the late-night host.
Leno, whose joke last week has led to an angry online petition and a lawsuit, now faces perhaps the most powerful backlash — a possible declaration of displeasure from the British government.
Two members of the U.K. Parliament entered a motion on Wednesday calling for an official chastisement of Leno, and for an apology from the host and his network, NBC.
The motion asks Parliament to officially declare that the sketch — during which Leno showed a picture of sacred Sikh site the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, and kidded that it was wealthy GOP candidate Mitt Romney's summer home — "shows a complete misunderstanding of the Sikh faith and is derogatory to Sikhs across the world." It also asks that that Leno and NBC offer their apologies "to all Sikhs for this disrespectful depiction of the Golden Temple."
Oh, and the motion also calls for the U.K. government to advise the U.S. government that "while recognizing principles of freedom of speech, there should be more understanding and respect shown to the Sikh faith."
Whew; hopefully the furious spinning of all those powdered wigs won't cause a hurricane.
In actually, the motion hasn't displayed a ton of momentum; a day after its introduction, it has only two signatures.
While it remains to be seen if the motion passes, the flap over Leno's joke is no doubt causing a headache for the comedian; earlier this week, a man named Dr. Randeep Dhillon — doing business as Bol Punjabi All Regions Community Organization — filed a lawsuit against Leno and NBC, claiming that Leno "hurt the sentiments of all Sikh people in addition to those of the plaintiff" and "clearly exposes plaintiff, other Sikhs and their religion to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy because it falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh."
Nothing funny about that — unless the case gets laughed out of court, of course.